Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. – 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 ESV
2 Corinthians offers us a wonderful hope for the future. Not only our future, but the future of the whole world. This passage steps us through the hope of the resurrection of Christ and the responsibility that we have once we’ve accepted Christ’s message.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”
If we claim to be a Christian, we are claiming to have an understanding of what His death and resurrection mean. We are saying that we know Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, came to this earth, lived a sin-free life, died on the cross and was raised from the dead, then He ascended off this earth to return to the Father where He waits to return to the earth again and judge us all. We are saying that we understand that we are sin filled creatures that are separated from Christ and this work He did on the cross is our only hope of coming home again. We are saying that we not only believe His words and believe in the knowledge of Him, but we also are saying that we are changed because of Him.
Old to New
“The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
Once we have become a part of Christ, we have the hope of being new. 2 Corinthians says that the old has passed away and the new has come. They aren’t living simultaneously and we have to pick and choose between the pieces. The old is gone, completely and for good. The new is here and it is transforming us into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). It is easy to forget this one and start to live in habits and echoes of the dead version of us. However, we aren’t bound to that life any more (Romans 6:6). We can walk away from those choice and those circumstances. We are free in Christ to live in the law of liberty (James 1:25).
God is the Author
“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;”
We are so used to taking credit for any good thing that we do, that it’s a good reminder here that God is the one who is planning all this and doing all this. We aren’t saving ourselves and nothing of what we do (our works) can save us. Only the power and grace of God. He’s done this because of who He is and how much He loves us (John 3:16). Pride and arrogance try to step in and say that it’s something we’ve done, but it never is. God, through Christ, is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Open for All
“In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them,”
Salvation is not an elite thing. There isn’t something that has to be done to earn it and there aren’t specially appointed people who will get it. God is offering this to all people the world over. He wants to be able to offer mercy to all His children that they can return home to Him. If any person, no matter their background or their past choices, learns to accept Christ and what He did on the cross, he is welcomed home by a loving and forgiving Father.
The Knowledge We Have
“Entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”
The Spirit of God has revealed the truth of Christ to us and that knowledge leaves us with a certain responsibility. This message of reconciliation between a loving Father and His lost children is needing to go out to the whole world. Later in this passage, Apostle Paul says that he and his fellow ministers are “ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us.” We are the mouth piece of God’s goodness. God wants us to show His strength through our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9) and His uniting love through our relationship with Him (John 17:23).